A good night's sleep has a great impact on how you feel. When you're not feeling like your energized self, one of the most important things you should do is get some good night's sleep. But I know from the clients that I coach that eight hours of solid sleep is not always a given. What if you're laying down at bed, worrying and staring at the ceiling, knowing you have to get up for a busy day in a couple of hours?
The first thing to do: stop beating yourself up about not sleeping well. That’s not going to help. But these tips might:
Don’t eat too heavy or too late
Avoid eating heavy foods within two or three hours of bedtime. Sleeping with a full stomach is not very comfortable. To digest the food you eat, your body needs energy (hence the after dinner dip!). Your body is not resting properly when it’s working hard to digest your food. Try eating earlier of have a lighter meal than usual.
Limit your caffeine intake
You probably don’t drink coffee before you go to bed because it’s kind of obvious this won’t help you sleep. But did you know that after drinking a cup of coffee, it takes five to six hours to reduce the amount of caffeine in your blood by half? It’s best to only drink caffeine in the morning, but if that’s difficult for you, stop at least six hours before bedtime. Try drinking herbal tea such as chamomile before you go to bed instead, or just drink a plain old glass of water.
Make sure your room is dark
Your sleep cycle is regulated by the hormone melatonin. This hormone is controlled by light. That’s why you get sleepy when it’s dark ? and why it’s so hard to get up in the winter when the sun isn’t shining in the morning! Make sure your bedroom is dark to improve the quality of your sleep. Get some good curtains and use dimmed light before you go to bed.
Cool down your bedroom
The average of people sleep best in a room that’s about 18 degrees Celsius. You might think that’s a bit on the cold side, but when it’s too hot in your bedroom, it can make it hard to fall asleep. Also, make sure you ventilate your bedroom daily to keep the air fresh.
Use some relaxing scents
Scents can help you relax! The most known “sleepy scent” is probably lavender, but you could also try rose or vanilla scents. There are special linen sprays available but you could also dab a little essential oil on your pillow (or on a tissue that you place under the cover). Or place a bar of soap nearby your bed, or use a diffuser.
Use an alarm clock instead of your phone
Old fashioned? Maybe. But when the last thing you do before you go to bed is checking your mail and social media and it’s also the first thing you do when you wake up, it might be better to entirely remove the temptation. Leave your phone in your living room and use an alarm clock to wake up.
No Netflix in bed
Laptops, tv’s, smartphones and tablets: all of these electronic devices emit “blue light”. This interferes with your melatonin production and makes it hard for you to fall asleep. It’s best to shut down the screens at least 1 hour before bedtime.
Do some meditation
Try to add some minutes of meditation to your evening routine. It will help you clear your head and relax your body. An effective meditation I use during coaching is to simply close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You could also use a guided meditation designed for bedtime.
Write down your thoughts
Get your thoughts out of your head! This way, you no longer have to worry about remembering things because you have written them down already. It also helps to write down some things you were grateful for today. This will get you in a positive mood and helps you relax.
I hope these tips will help you get some good night?s sleep!
Lots of love,